Last week, I started this series on Songwriting tips to help musicians write better songs. I was able to share only one tip last week because I didn’t want the article to be too long. Today, I will be sharing two important tips. So let’s dive into it:
Have a central theme
I started writing songs (or rather, I started attempting to write songs) in 2004. I had just finished secondary school the previous year and didn’t know anything about songwriting. So, I just put words together that sounded sweet to the ear, made sure they fit the melody I had in my head and boom! that’s a song. Like I said, I didn’t know anything about songwriting, so my songs had no central theme, no message, nothing. Just words that fit a melody and sound sweet to the ears. It took a few years before I started to learn about songwriting.
As a musician in the 21st century, you should not write songs like the ignorant me of 2004. Don’t just pick random ideas and jumble them together in one song. Each song you write should have a central theme/idea/ message that you intend to pass across to your listeners. The depth and meaning of your lyrics is equally as important as the melody of your song. So, don’t be aimless in your songwriting; have a central theme and let that message be clear enough for your listeners to get as they listen. This leads me to the second tip for today;
Arrange your lyrics
I’m not talking about the entire song arrangement here, rather my focus is on the lyrics. Remember, you have a central idea/ message that you want to communicate to your listeners as they listen to your song. So, you need to carefully arrange your lyrics in such a way that as they listen, from the intro to the end of the song, that idea is steadily but clearly understood. If you’re telling a story, tell it systematically, from the beginning of the story to the end.
Usually, what I do when I write songs is to segment my thoughts into two or three and then develop each segment into a verse. The verses would be in such a way that the flow of thoughts continue from the first verse to the second and then finally the third. Let me give a quick example, if the central idea for my song is that ‘God does not love like men do’, I could use the first verse to talk about how men love, and then the second verse would be about how God loves in contrast to how men love. That way, my thoughts are steadily but clearly communicated from the first verse to the second.
This is something you need to intentionally and carefully do. So, as you write your next song, ensure you carefully arrange your lyrics in such a way that the main idea of the song is clearly communicated to your listeners.
This is where I’ll stop on today’s songwriting tips for musicians in the 21st century. Hope you learnt something from today’s piece that will help you write better songs? Feel free to share it on your social media for others to learn too.